The influence of online fandom on
film production, promotion
and distribution
The active audience
Fans often express their...
field of visions as well as normal rectangular pairs. They were
aimed at fans of the franchise and confirmed their
predict...
Such audience predictability minimises risks and marketing
research costs.
There has been a move from critics-only festiva...
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The influence of online fandom on film production

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The influence of online fandom on film production

  1. 1. The influence of online fandom on film production, promotion and distribution The active audience Fans often express their passion for a chosen canon of texts in a very informed way. They may research all that is linked to their favourite films: from its producers and influences to the opinions of the rest of the fan community. They will often write about their thoughts and interpretations and to share those with the widest audience possible. They may also actively seek to meet the actors, directors or other cultural producers that are involved in the film for interviews that will later be shared with other fans through fanzines, internet blogs or amateur film websites such as YouTube. „Fans are, in one sense, ‘ideal consumers’ since their consumption habits can be very highly predicted by the culture industry, and are likely to remain stable. They have been known to attach value to anything that has a connection to their favourite text: films, books, tie-ins, collectibles. This behaviour can sometimes be taken advantage of by major corporations. For example, collectible 3D glasses were sold in some cinemas for £3.00 on the release of the 3D version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Davit Yates, UK 2011), these were three times the price of a normal pair of 3D glasses and their round shapes did not cover the spectators‟
  2. 2. field of visions as well as normal rectangular pairs. They were aimed at fans of the franchise and confirmed their predictability when they sold out in the first weekend. Fans and the internet This sharing among fans has been happening for decades through the publication of fanzines, conventions and fan clubs. However, these channels always had a limited and specialised audience. The globalization of the internet offered many opportunities for fans who saw it as a means for immediate and unrestricted expression. The influential fan If you look at the most successful films since the year 2000, you cannot help but notice that a wide majority are adaptations, sequels or remakes of popular material. In a time of economic recession, fans have been identified as the audience to target. Not only are they vocal about what they want to see and have a predictable consumption behaviour, but they are also measurable: often signed up to fan clubs and forums, “followers” on Twitter or “fans” on Facebook.
  3. 3. Such audience predictability minimises risks and marketing research costs. There has been a move from critics-only festivals and press screenings, and towards fan festivals (such as Comic Con) and „Talkers‟ – free early screenings advertised on the internet to films fans. Social networking has become one of the most convenient and cost-efficient medium to promote a film. Christopher Nolan is famous for his thought provoking films and, by making the fans reflect on elaborate clues, he and his marketing team flatter their fans’ intelligence. A considerable amount of effort is required in order to obtain small amounts of information and this works to make the release of the film an exciting event where all can be revealed. Nowadays, fans have in many ways taken the place of professional movie reviewers and can be considered experts.

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